March 20, 2006, New Delhi, Press Release

Speaking at the Seminar on ‘Competitive Policy and Law,’ organised by CUTS in the capital today, Mr John Preston, Competition Policy Consultant, Private Sector Policy Department, DFID, London said that there is a close correlation between competitive markets and poverty eradication. Presence of a healthy competitive market is therefore an important tool to bring about economic growth in the country.

“Everyone must get optimum value for money he spends,” Mr Preston said. “This, in the long run, would foster mobility of resources, economic efficiency and consumer welfare by maintaining and encouraging the process of competition leading to growth and employment.”

Mr Shyam Khemani, Advisor, Competition Policy Private Sector Development – Vice Presidency, The World Bank Group, Washington D.C. in his remarks said that regulatory reforms are gaining pace in the developing world, with an increasing number of countries enacting competition and sectoral regulatory laws. Protection and enhancement of commercial interests has become one of the most important policy objectives. More over, emergence of international trading systems through the WTO ad other regional agreements has opened up new opportunities, besides posing new challenges.

The five day seminar kick starts the activities of CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition (CIRC) and aims at developing analytical capabilities to comprehend competitive policy and law issues, their perspectives and linkages with the industry and economy.

It will also brush up the skills for developing understanding on compliance issues related to competition law among businesses and understanding the expected role of different stakeholders and groups in order to ensure competitiveness of the markets and accelerate economic growth.

“There is lack of scientific capacity”, Mr Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International said in his introductory remarks. “There is complete lack of understanding and lack of awareness over the subject of competition law. With so much happening on the economic front, there is a pressing need for finer knowledge, better negotiating skills and improved capacity of understanding of competition laws, economic regulations and commercial aspects of diplomacy.”

CIRC has been conceived with the idea of making the markets work better for the people by creating an intellectual and knowledge base on regulatory reforms, including economic regulation, competition policy and commercial diplomacy. It would facilitate research to enhance understanding and explore inter disciplinary linkages among the identified subjects, Mr Mehta said.

The Seminar has delegates from countries like Singapore, Thailand, Mauritius, Vietnam, Central Government and representatives of many Multi national corporate houses.

The resource persons for the Seminar include practitioners, economists and lawyers such as Aditya Bhattacharjea, Francois Souty, John Preston, Jaivir Singh, Manish Agarwal, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Shravan Nigam, S Sundar and T C A Anant.